The idea of removing unwanted hair from your body is far from a modern phenomenon. In fact, it goes back thousands of years, although the cultural reasons for removing hair have changed quite a bit over time.
The concept has also taken many forms over the centuries, including the use of primitive tweezers and pumice stones.
Shaving and waxing are still popular choices today, but is one better than the other? Dr. Javier Zelaya and our team of skin care experts at Skinworks Dermatology look at the pros and cons of these hair removal methods to see which might offer the best results.
Pros and cons of shaving
Shaving is inexpensive and easy to do at home, and your local drugstore offers a variety of razors to choose from to make shaving comfortable for you. Shaving is fairly painless, and it doesn’t matter how long or short your hair is.
Because you’re only removing hair from the surface of your skin, the hair follicles are left intact, meaning that hair grows back in just a few days. Shaving can also irritate the skin, causing annoyances like razor bumps and ingrown hairs.
You also need to change the blades in your razor regularly to prevent skin irritation.
Pros and cons of waxing
Waxing can also be done at home and provides more than just hair removal. It can also exfoliate the area you treat to make your skin feel smoother.
Each time you wax an area of your skin to remove hair, the hair comes back thinner, because more of the hair root is being removed during the process. Waxing also lasts longer, with hair taking about a month to grow back before you need to do it again.
Removing hair with wax can be a more painful experience than shaving, and not everyone tolerates it the same way.
The overall process of having warm wax applied to your skin and hair removed from the roots takes some getting used to, and it can also cause irritation, redness, and ingrown hairs. Your hair must also be at least a quarter of an inch long to remove by waxing.
Your skin may be more sensitive to waxing if you’re taking antibiotics, hormone replacement therapy, hormonal birth control, or retinol-based creams.
Which is the better choice?
Shaving is a fine solution for quick hair removal, but waxing allows for longer-lasting results, less hair growing back over time, and smoother skin through exfoliation.
Both methods can be done at home, but if you’re looking to remove hair and not worry about it for weeks at a time, waxing is the better solution.
Our team specializes in performing comfortable, high quality waxes to most areas of the body. If you’re ready to try waxing, call us today at one of our three New York City locations, in Maspeth, Chelsea, or Park Slope, or book your appointment online.